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My Dog Skip (Soundtrack) by William Ross

Tracksounds Rating = 7/10

My Dog Skip (Soundtrack) by William Ross

Composed, Conducted, Orchestrated,  Produced by William Ross
Executive Producer Robert Townson
Released by Varese Sarabande December 1999

Track Title Time Rating One Not to Skip
by Christopher Coleman

Composer William Ross is certainly no stranger to the film music world as we have been privileged to hear his handy work as composer or orchestrator more times than we probably realize.  His orchestration credits include: Contact, Eraser, Payback, Lethal Weapon 1 and 3, Die Hard 2 and many others.  He has composed for television as well.  The familiar MacGyver theme,  and Tiny Toon Adventures theme are both a part of his television portfolio.  William Ross certainly brings a treasure chest of experience to the composing-table and it is evident in his most recent work for My Dog Skip.

William Ross, over the years, has been involved with many of Hollywood’s lighter-side films:  One Good Cop, Look Who’s Talking Now, Tin Cup, and My Fellow Americans, just to name a few.   My Dog Skip is a feature film adaptation of William Morris' award winning book recalling his awkward  boyhood during World War II in Mississippi and his pet dog, Skip, that teaches him lessons of humanity.  This heartwarming story provides Ross with the perfect opportunity to deliver, with equal “quaintness” of a Goldsmith, a Portman or a Silvestri score, a most memorable and enjoyable effort.

The Main Title launches the soundtrack in a traditional, yet very appealing Americana piece.  Soft woodwinds, stirring strings, emotional piano keys, are blended together to form the familiar tapestry of a-few-decades-ago-mid-western life.  Visions and musical memories of Rudy, Forrest Gump, and the like immediately come to mind as this track plays through.   This main theme is utilized several times throughout the CD release from Varese Sarabande.  Track 7, Crossing Over, showcases the main title at a much quicker tempo and with more life than the original construction of the theme.  The final track, Will Grows Up, is probably the single best track of the CD and displays the main theme again, in all of its orchestral glory. Portions of this track come very close to the simple power of Elmer Bernstein's classic score for To Kill a Mockingbird.

Another notable track is track 4, Driving With Skip.  It is immediately apparent, without seeing even one frame of the scene for which it was composed for, that it is depicting some sort of traffic scene.  Ross takes a bit of the spirit of Gershwin’s An American in Paris, as he employs various brass instruments to mimic the sounds of honking automobiles.  It is only a brief interlude, but done with a classy tip-of-the-hat to one of America’s greatest composers. 

A bit more of the intense side of Ross shows up in track 6, Greenwood Cemetery.  This track is at times ominous and at others filled with hair-raising energy.  Moments that are very similar to another of Ross’ orchestration credits, Judge Dredd, are scattered throughout this track.

Sad Homecoming (track 8) is another beautiful selection of music as the woodwinds take the spotlight and the piano and strings provide the subtle accompaniment.  Following this, track 9, The Deer, is also among the best.  It, too, is quiet and reflective.  Sad piano notes trade off with even sadder strings to provide a seriously poignant bit of music. 

The 37 minutes of score released is acceptable; although, one could always ask for more.  The tracks are ordered  nicely making it is very easy to listen to this disc from the first track to the last.  Fans of The Cider House Rules, as well as Silvestri and Horner fans, will certainly find several tracks of My Dog Skip very satisfying, especially if they are in a reflective mood.  If you are among such a group, make sure you don't skip this one.

1 Main Title 3:21 ****
2 Hometown Hero 1:56 ****
3 A New Friend 1:37 ****
4 Driving With Skip 1:01 ***
5 Rivers 1:10 ***
6 Greenwood Cemetery 3:24 ***
7 Crossing Over 1:17 ***
8 Sad Homecoming 2:47 ****
9 The Deer 2:54 ****
10 Opening Day 1:12 ****
11 Will Strikes Out 2:19 ****
12 Searching for Skip 3:00 ****
13 Dad's Advise 1:53 ***
14 Will Grows Up 8:57 ****
  Total Playing Time 37:23    

Category

Score

 
 Originality 7  

Music Selection

8  

Themes/ Composition

8  

CD Length

6  

Track Order

9  

Performance

8  

Final Score

8  
         

Other reviews:

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Composer
William Ross

My Dog Skip (Soundtrack) by William Ross
 Sound Clips:

Track 1 - Main Title

 

Purchase this CD at

My Dog Skip (Soundtrack) by William Ross

 

All artwork from My Dog Skip is exclusive property of Varese Sarabande Records (c) 1999.  Its appearance is for informational purposes only.

 

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